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2015 Federal Budget Highlights


This year's budget holds some good news that will have a positive impact on a good number of our clients. Here is a quick summary of the most beneficial items:

  • Increasing the lifetime capital gains exemption for farm businesses to $1,000,000. (This is a benefit specifically for farm land and qualifying farm corporation shares or partnership interests) other qualifying small business shares exemption will remain at the previous level of $800,000, indexed annually for inflation.
  • The small business tax rate drops from 11 percent to 9 percent by 2019. This is the federal tax rate for active business income for corporations, that together with the provincial rate currently result in a 13% tax. The phase in of these rates will be as follows: 10.5% effective January 1, 2016, 10% effective January 1, 2017, 9.5% effective January 1, 2018, 9% effective January 1, 2019.
  • A change of rules governing registered retirement income funds or RRIFs to allow seniors to preserve their retirement nest eggs for longer. The budget reduces the minimum amount that seniors must withdraw each year from their Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF). The budget lowers the minimum withdrawal factor to 5.28% at age 71 (from 7.38%) to 18.79% at age 94 (from 20%).
  • Increasing the annual limit on tax-free savings accounts to $10,000 from $5,500.